This October, Western Australian businesses are being called on to participate in Workability Week and experience the benefits of building a diverse and inclusive workplace.
WorkAbility Week is an annual event hosted by disability employment agency Forrest Personnel. It is designed to introduce employers to the talented pool of job seekers who live with an injury, illness or disability.
From 11 to 17 October, participating employers will host one of Forrest Personnel’s job seekers at their workplace, allowing them to see first-hand that while these job seekers may have a barrier to employment, their skills and experience make them valuable team members.
Forrest Personnel chair Iain Massey said that with skills shortages affecting nearly every sector in the State, now was the perfect time for businesses to participate in WorkAbility Week.
“Businesses who participate get to welcome an enthusiastic job seeker into their workplace for a short time and see how they could add value to the workplace in the long run,” Mr Massey said.
Diversity is good business
International and national research has shown there are tangible benefits of recruiting people with a disability. When compared to other employees, people with a disability are equally productive, stay with companies for longer, take fewer sick days and are involved in fewer OH&S incidents.1
“They also provide businesses with valuable market insight into the needs of the one in six Western Australians who live with an injury, illness or disability,” Mr Massey said.
“Actively building a diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t just a nice thing to do – it makes sound business sense.
“Unfortunately, people with a disability are often overlooked for employment opportunities. This is reflected in the fact that the unemployment rate within this group is more than double that of the wider community.”
According to the most recent statistics available on workforce and disability, more than 12,000 Western Australians living with a disability were unemployed and looking for work. A further 10,000 considered themselves underemployed.2
Businesses can register
Forrest Personnel is now inviting businesses to register their interest for WorkAbility Week. Once they have done so, a Forrest Personnel team member will call them to discuss placement opportunities. This information will then be used to match placements to candidates with the necessary skills and aptitude for the role.
Participating in WorkAbility Week is free – Forrest Personnel covers all costs, including insurance.
“It’s an opportunity for employers to rethink their recruitment strategies, without any associated risks or costs,” Mr Massey said. “In fact, there’s a good chance they will find their next employee.”
- Graffam J et al (2002). Employer benefits and costs of employing a person with a disability, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 17(4): 251-263
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018). Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC). Analysis of the Western Australia data set released 05/02/2020. Accessed 3 September 2021.